October 5th, 2008
03:54 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama accuses McCain of looking for distractions

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/10/05/campaign.wrap/art.obama.gi.jpg caption="Sen. Obama slammed Sen. McCain's health care plan at a campaign event in North Carolina Sunday."]
(CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama on Sunday charged that Sen. John McCain's campaign is launching "Swift boat-style attacks" on him instead of addressing the country's problems.

Watch: Obama fights back

"Sen. McCain and his operatives are gambling that they can distract you with smears rather than talk to you about substance. They'd rather try to tear our campaign down than lift this country up," Obama said at an event in Asheville, North Carolina.

"That's what you do when you're out of touch, out of ideas, and running out of time," he said.

The comments come a day after Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, McCain's running mate, claimed that Obama associated "with terrorists who targeted our own country."

The McCain campaign shot back on Sunday, saying its accusations are "true facts," and not "smears."

"The last four weeks of this election will be about whether the American people are willing to turn our economy and national security over to Barack Obama, a man with little record, questionable judgment, and ties to radical figures like unrepentant domestic terrorist William Ayers," McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds said in a statement.

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soundoff (596 Responses)
  1. Peter (CA)

    Every time I see Tucker Bounds' name in a quote, I know the opposite is true.
    It is a smear....legitimate news sources say so. So, why does the McCain campaign keep lying? Maybe because they don't have anything else.
    Smart people will see through this to the truth.

    October 5, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  2. Disappointed Alaskan Female

    I guess I have never been more disappointed in anyone than I am with our governor, Sarah Palin. I at least thougt she had some substance, and that professing to be Christian should would at least stick to honesty. What a sham, she has proven she will sink to any depth to climb where she wants to be personally/politically. It seems her religion idolizes Sarah, who makes her own rules as she goes without a care of blatant lies and misrepresentations. Please send Tina Fey to Alaska, she will be a superior replacement by a long shot. All of those registered voters who think well of Simple Sarah, be careful, we found out first hand when she abandoned us, hid from an investigation and hides in the McCain-Pain camp.

    October 5, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  3. Jibaf Mustafa


    October 5, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  4. Cheri

    Good job to the Obama/Biden campaign in not letting the smear tactics from the McCain/Palin camp deflect from their message of change! Keep on track and Obama will win in a landslide since people will be getting more and more turned off and will shut out whatever McCain/Palin say.

    October 5, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  5. Melinda Branch

    The Republicans are running scared. They obviously don't realize they are making complete fools of themselves (as if they hadn't up until this point anyway).

    Thank goodness Barack Obama is focusing on the issues and hitting them right back between the eyes with their lies and stupid statements.

    Sarah needs to go back to Alaska and John needs to retire. Stick a fork in them both – they are done.

    My thoughts and prayers are with Barack as he tackles the Republican lies and with Joe and his family as they face family illness.

    Obama/Biden 08 & 12

    October 5, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  6. Ryan in NYC

    Of course McCain will try to distract people with non important stuff. He doesn't have any good ideas or issues to run on.
    Everytime McSame/Pailin mention Wright, Rezko, or other antique crap I hope someone asks about Troopergate, Iraq Judgement, and the Keating 5! Then ask for an idea to fix this economy!
    Voting Smart,
    Obama/Biden in 08!

    October 5, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  7. J.D.

    My wife watched the VP debate and had very little rwaction pro or con about either Palin or Biden. Then...after the debate, her chin hit the ground when she saw Palin's 6 month old Downs Syndrome baby brought up on stage as a prop. It was like 11:00 at night, why wasn't that baby in bed??? Palin patted the baby on the back in a weird unmaternal way, then quickly dumped the baby into the arms of her little 6 year old girl. All this on a stage in a big room with hundreds and hundreds of strangers. My wife flipped out and hasn't stopped talking about it. Someone needs to post this clip on YouTube. It's disturbing.

    October 5, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  8. James

    Wow, unbelievable. These republicans are pathetic. I swear, if this works again this year, I will give up on this country.

    October 5, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  9. Just Me


    You can't swiftboat your way out of this one.


    October 5, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  10. Northern Light

    I think McCain & co. are gambling that the American people would rather hear about dirt and deception than about the real problems that exist. Will the gamble work? I guess we'll have to wait a month to find out!!!

    October 5, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  11. KJL

    Obama is right. You don't hear his campaign workers bringing up things like Palin's supposed affair with her husband's former business partner. They leave that kind of stuff to the tabloids, and stick to what matters to the voters, like the economy.

    October 5, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  12. Megan

    Ahhh McCain. The great pretender. He knows his time is ticking. November is right around the corner. Smearing Obama is the dumbest possible move you could make. Tell the people what you will do for them as President, McCain. Stop trying to tear your opponent down with childish remarks and baseless claims. You make him look better every day. I would much rather a young intellectual for President than an old fogey who is ripe for the nursing home. You can tell someone is going senile when they revert to childhood.

    October 5, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  13. Susan Cape Coral, FL

    I imagine in his day, Bill Ayers was considered quite the maverick. Perhaps a good read for these days is Cheryl Dellasega's (author of REVIVING OPHELIA) MEAN GIRLS GROWN UP, adult women who are still queen bees, middle bees and afraid-to-bees. Recognize Palin? Yes, it is time to get out of the high school girl's locker room, and engage in discussion of issues.

    October 5, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  14. linda from South Dakota

    what im wondering is why on youtube.com ,, where they had 7 videos of "mccain,, the videos he doenst want you to see" arent there anymore,, makess one wonder why or who erased em,, the scandalish ways hes gottin to where he is today,, ummmmm

    October 5, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  15. Sad

    Its is soooo sad, but completely true. McCain at one time (8 Years ago) was a stand up person that had true ideas and really would have been a good President. Now he really is only attacking, which I thought he said he was completely again at the begining of all of this. Sorry old man, but you really should have stayed positive and you would have had my vote. I am just staying home this year...
    I dont think I can go out and vote for OB, but I def am not voting for McCain and his useless distraction (Palin) that is now backfiring on him. Is this really all we have?????????

    October 5, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  16. observer

    criminal, dishonest, mean-spirited, ignorant and abusive behavior...McCain, Palin and the RNC!
    So you can't win fair and square so you cheat. America deserves better.

    I will worked extra hard for our country's future and hence, our next president Sen. Obama

    October 5, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  17. Denise

    Wow...pathetic. The McCain campaign is working overtime brewing up false accusations during the worst financial crisis to hit the American people since the great depression. One would think their time would best be served dealing with the economic issues rather than making up lies to distract people from the fact that they don't have a CLUE how to fix the economy. The questions is: are the American people stupid enough to fall for this desperate "TACTIC'?

    I can't believe they are....but I guess time will tell.

    McCain and his bimbot should get to work and deal with the issues. They look ridiculous running around repeating rhetoric that has been proven to be lies, while Obama and Biden are facing the issues head on with honesty and integrity.

    October 5, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  18. Republican for Obama

    They're getting desparate now...
    This is all they have now? Come on!

    October 5, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  19. BM

    My friends, McCain says he also knows how to win wars. What war did he win, my friends? He admitted that he knows nothing about the economy as well. That's why he believed the economy was sound!

    October 5, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  20. Martha, Washington State

    McCain's sleezy tactics are a disgrace. Because McCain cannot win with issues, and the respect he owes to the American people, he is Gov. Palin will do it with cheep smear.

    October 5, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  21. Pepou

    We shoud not be surprised by McCain's desperate attempts. Here is a snotty, ugly, old fool who will resort to everything in order to win an election. Well he will lose, and big.

    October 5, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  22. Mike

    John McCain was the victim of such disgusting trash politics, inuendos and outright lies during the primaries in 2000, at the hands of the Bush campaign. The fact that he is allowing his campaign to resort to the same vile behavior this year speaks volumes about his character.

    I respected McCain in 2000, and have respected him for his military service. But the man who I respected is nowhere to be seen. His good character is gone, as far as I can tell.

    I am going to ignore this garbage, and focus on the huge set of issues facing us as a country. There is only one ticket focusing on those, and that is who I am going to vote for. Obama/Biden.

    October 5, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  23. E.C.Coleman

    Obama will look for anything but the kitchen sink to throw at Senator McCain in order to gain a Vote. Obama is lazy and shiftless and can only think of the perks that he would get if elected. "Something for Nothing" should be Obama's Campaign Slogan, especially since Obama has little or no qualifications or experience to even be in the campaign. That the so-called 'lion of the senate, Kennedy' had the nerve to back such an unqualified and inexperienced person in his party's race was irresponsible, when there were so many well-known and proven Leaders in Washington. Same thoughts prevail about Oprah...who did not support Senator H. Clinton. How dare that woman!!! Let's hope when Obama loses............that he loses big-time and with a huge loss! Who would trust this man to be president, anyway? No One.

    October 5, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  24. jimmy

    it is obama who is distracting the American People form his qualifications, judgement and what he has done in his entire political carreer from when he started as a community organizer to state legislator where he voted "quote"PRESENT" unquote on legislation in the state senate.. he has done even less in the U.S. senate.
    obama talks, talks, talks about economics about which he has no formal education, experience , nor even drafted anything about it.
    it is all written for him and speakes from the teleprompter on the rostrum.

    October 5, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  25. Lisa

    It is becoming scary to think that McCain is becoming so desperate! I can't vote for someone who refuses focus on the issues that are important to me and other Americans. If he doesn't care now.... then he won't if he gets into the White House!

    October 5, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
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